Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Quotes From the Past Year

toptentuesdayI haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday post in forever! But this week’s topic really caught my fancy since over the past year I’ve read some pretty good books and I’ve highlighted a lot of funny, memorable, truth-filled, and heart breaking quotes.

These aren’t my absolute favorite quotes from these books, but I picked ones that stood out to me for one reason or another. For some of these books it was hard to pick just one quote to share!

Top Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year Or So

Persuasion“Now they were as strangers; nay, worse than strangers, for they could never become acquainted. It was a perpetual estrangement.”

 

 

theevolutionofmaradyer“You’re stronger than you believe. Don’t let your fear own you. Own yourself.”

 

Jurassic Park“All major changes are like death. You can’t see to the other side until you are there.”

 

 

earnest“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.”

 

It was hard to pick just one from this book!:

The Martian“It’s true, you know. In space, no one can hear you scream like a little girl.”

 

 

Wives and Daughters“I won’t say she was silly, but I think one of us was silly, and it wasn’t me!”

 

 

openroadsummer“If you have a best friend you can laugh with and a few good songs, you’re more than halfway there.”

 

 

MTLGTM“Would you rather be great at something you like, or just okay at something you love?”

 

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban“Mr. Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape, and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people’s business.
Mr. Prongs agrees with Mr. Moony, and would like to add that Professor Snape is an ugly git.
Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a professor.
Mr. Wormtail bids Professor Snape good day, and advises him to wash his hair, the slimeball.”

robinhood“You who so plod amid serious things that you feel it shame to give yourself up even for a few short moments to mirth and joyousness in the land of Fancy; you who think that life hath not to do with innocent laughter that can harm no one; these pages are not for you.”

What are some of your favorite book quotes? I’d love to hear them!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Want With Me On A Desert Island

toptentuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a freebie! So I decided to finally post a top ten list I’ve tried to share several times.

Do you ever read a book and think, “I would want THAT character with me if I was ever in ‘x’ situation”? Well, I’m really keen on picking out characters who are resourceful. When I read Harry Potter, I’m thinking, “Man, I would love to have Hermione next to me in a natural disaster.” (Seriously, is there a situation I wouldn’t want to have Hermione’s help in?)

So, I’m doing a Top Ten Tuesday rewind post and sharing with you the Top Ten Characters I’d Want to Have With Me On a Desert Island

Hermione IMG_2042

Hermione Granger (The Harry Potter series) – I basically already said I’d want Hermione with me in any situation. She’s arguably the most prepared and resourceful character ever written.

Katniss Everdeen and Finnick Odair (The Hunger Games series) – Not the most emotionally reliable of characters, but Katniss is still brave, strong, and a hunter (which would come in handy when it’s time to eat!). And Finnick would be great at catching fish, and also at charming people into doing whatever he wants (in a good way, of course…).

JoMarch IMG_2048

Jo March (Little Women) – I’d want Jo around to keep all of our spirits up. You’d never be bored with Jo as company, and the way she nursed her sister Beth always made me cry. She’s a headstrong character, but she has a huge heart for other people.

Robin Hood (The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood) – Besides the fact that he can hunt and entertain, Robin Hood would be great at keeping everyone “united” (like Finnick). If we’re stuck on this island for a while, I can count on Robin to work out arguments and keep everyone in a good mood. Except for maybe Katniss, since she doesn’t have any people skills. Robin would also be helpful at surviving in the woods.

Anne and Gilbert IMG_2049

Anne Shirley & Gilbert Blythe (The Anne of Green Gables series) – I really debated between Gilbert and Prim from The Hunger Games, since both are doctors/healers. But I went with Gilbert because he’s a very wise character who I could also trust to be a leader in a chaotic situation. And, yeah, he’s not bad to look at either ;) And Anne’s imagination would come in handy when we’re bored. I would love to have story-time with her and Jo March.

Meredith Hayes (Short Straw Bride) – Meredith can make a happy situation out of anything. Oh, it’s your wedding day and there’s no cake? Well don’t worry, let me just whip some delicious cinnamon rolls out of scratch for you! Someone is trying to set the barn on fire? No problem! I’ll make everyone dinner and then personally go out there and stop the fire myself. Yeah, you’re pretty resourceful, Meri.

AnneElliot IMG_2043

Anne Elliot (Persuasion) – If anyone can stay calm during a catastrophe, it’s Anne Elliot. As soon as everyone starts freaking out about something, Anne is focused and swift-thinking.

Phileas Fogg (Around the World in Eighty Days) – If there’s one thing I know Phileas would be able to do on a desert island, it would be to get us off of it. I’m sure he’d just happen to find a boat somewhere or be able to flag down a passing ship that could take us all home.

Which characters would you love to have with you on a deserted island??

Robin des Bois: The Robin Hood Musical

robindesboisIf you read yesterday’s post on The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, or if you know me in real life, you know that I LOVE Robin Hood!

Well, for Christmas last year my in-laws bought us tickets for a Robin Hood musical this past May. Yes. A Robin Hood musical. It was as awesome as it sounds.

The music was wonderful, the stunts were incredible, and the props and stage sets were breathtaking. The show was in French, but I was able to understand it for the most part (my husband didn’t understand it fully either; we had to ask our sister-in-law, who also attended, for some clarity afterwards).

I know I called this show a musical, but it’s really called a spectacle, and it was rather different from musicals I’ve scene in the States.

  • There was ONE scene with non-musical dialogue. This is why I had trouble understanding everything that was happening. Another reason being…
  • The main actors/singers did not participate in any of the main stunts or stage action. They basically stood at the front and sang to us, which was fine because they had beautiful voices.

The premise of this spectacle is that Robin and Maid Marian spent one night together, and afterwards Marian left Sherwood, had a son, and then returned 15 years later to seek out Robin’s help when their son falls into trouble with the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The best part of the show was the props and sets. Sherwood Forest looked so ethereal and fantastical. Everything was SO BEAUTIFUL.

robindesbois3

My favorite scene was when Robin Hood’s son and his romantic interest are sitting in the middle of a giant archery target during a musical number. As she sings, the target slowly begins to turn and at the start of the bridge the background projection lights up and the whole stage is transformed to show the two lovers riding on horseback. It was so beautiful and well-done.

robindesbois2

The shows wrapped up in France over the summer, but this fall it was released in theaters over there and the DVD should be available soon if it isn’t out already. Both my sister-in-law and I are anxious to see it again!

This musical also helped me cross off #16 on my list of 25 Things For My 25th Year

If you have a few minutes to spare, you enjoy listening to French music, and/or you love cool stunts and breakdancing, you should watch this video! “J’attendais” is one of my favorite songs from the soundtrack, and in this video you get to see all of the cast members on and behind the stage.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/kouquhPEkbs” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

RobinHood

You who so plod amid serious things that you feel it shame to give yourself up even for a few short moments to mirth and joyousness in the land of Fancy; you who think that life hath not to do with innocent laughter that can harm no one; these pages are not for you.

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
Published 1883 by Scribner’s
Classic/Adventure
Format: print; 376 pages
Also From This Author: The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, Men of Iron, Otto of the Silver Hand
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: 5/5

Synopsis

He stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and in so doing became an undying symbol of virtue. But most important, Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men offer young readers more than enough adventure and thrills to keep them turning the pages. Who could resist the arrows flying, danger lurking, and medieval intrigue?

Thoughts

Quoth Robin Hood, snuffing the air, “Here is a fair day, Little John, and one that we can ill waste in idleness.”

If you know me well you know that I am in love with Robin Hood (like, if he showed up on my doorstep I would run away to Sherwood Forest with him in a heartbeat). I’ve been intrigued by the legend of Robin Hood since I first saw Disney’s animated Robin Hood (1973), which is also why the fox is my favorite animal (though I have a fondness for roosters, too).

So why is it that I have waited so long to read Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood?! It’s probably for the best though, since I don’t think I would have understood much of the Old English language if I read this as a kid.

My favorite part of Pyle’s classic is of course the characters. Besides Robin, I also really loved the stories of Will Scarlet and Sir Richard of the Lea. Little John is as lovable as ever. Pyle perfectly describes him as a “great, faithful dog,” when it comes to his relationship with Robin. I found myself smiling at how effortless it was for other characters to pledge their honor to Robin. Each adventure followed a similar pattern: Robin would encounter someone who was on a quest or who needed help, he’d lend them a hand (or money, or his men), and at the end of the day all would be set right and Robin would have a new friend.

Robin Hood himself is so charming and hopeful that even the most destitute characters he comes in contact with can’t help but be infected by his infectious personality:

The Knight shook his head with a faint smile, but for all that Robin’s words made him more blithe of heart, for in truth hope, be it ever so faint, bringeth a gleam into darkness, like a little rushlight that costeth but a groat.

Read This Book If…:

…there is at least one adventurous bone in your body
…you love reading about legendary characters
…you enjoy a book that can make you laugh, gasp, and cry
…you’re into historical fiction

Final Musings

This book is not a fast read, but it is an exciting one! Each of Robin Hood’s adventures left me surprised, and even though I knew he would find a way to escape unscathed, I still found myself caught up in the suspense and action. For someone who was already enamored by Robin Hood, finally getting to read about his adventures only made me love him more!

“So my aching heart seeks thine, love
There to find its rest and peace,
For, though loving, bliss is mine, love,
And my many troubles cease.”

BONUS! Check back tomorrow for my (very late) post about a Robin Hood musical I saw earlier this year!

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Wish Could Have Their Own Book

toptentuesdayThis was such a hard post to write! I have no idea why, but I spent so much time wracking my brain trying to think of characters I’d want to see more of. I even had to ask my husband for suggestions ;) But I could only come up with nine! So you’ll have to give me suggestions for a tenth one…

Characters I Wish Could Have Their Own Book (or Spin-Off):

Sloane from Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – Firstly, I loved this book. It’s probably the second best book I’ve read all year (the first being Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments). Right after I finished it, though, I started thinking about how cool it would to read a sequel or a companion novel told through Sloane’s POV. We don’t see much of Sloane in the book, but we do get to see how interesting and conflicted she is. I would love to know what happens with her after the book ends.

Little John from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle – This book is actually told through the 3rd person, but it obviously follows Robin Hood’s adventures, and the adventures of his Merry Men after they join the gang. I’ve always had a soft spot for Little John, and I’d like to see what could become of him after the band goes their separate ways.

Captain Wentworth from Persuasion by Jane Austen – I know there are already books from his POV, but I haven’t read any yet. I really want to though!

Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – I know I’m not the only one who’d love to read about Neville’s adventures after Hogwarts. I feel like his story was only just starting to begin when Deathly Hallows ended.

Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Another HP character for this list (she’s also my favorite). I’d love to have a story told from Ginny’s POV during her 6th year at Hogwarts. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were off hunting horcruxes but we know Ginny was fighting off Death Eaters with the remainder of Dumbledore’s Army. There’s so much potential for a companion novel here!

Bailey from Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares – This happens to be my favorite book from the entire Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. I loved how the Sisterhood’s stories were resolved, but I think it would be wonderful to know what happens to the next generation. It would be kind of fitting with the original origin of the Sisterhood.

Haymitch Abernathy from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I would love to read a prequel to The Hunger Games when we get to discover all of Haymitch’s back story. A lot of it was shortly covered in Catching Fire, but I want more!!!

Lucien from Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – Another one of Morgan Matson’s characters for this list! She has awesome characters. Lucien is a very minor character, but he was so sweet and interesting! If you’ve read the book you know how his story is kind of just cut off, and I’d like to know what happens after his weekend with Amy and Roger.

Flynn Rider from Tangled – I can’t tell if I’d want to see a sequel with more of Flynn’s adventures or if I’d want to see one that involves his and Rapunzel’s (future) children. But I know there is plenty of potential for a Tangled sequel…Disney’s just making us wait =P (to be fair they did give us the Happily Ever After short)

Ok, which character would YOU like to see have his/her own sequel? Books, television, movies…which fictional character would you like to see more of?

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Totally Want To Be For Halloween!

toptentuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish, is all about Halloween! Last year I shared with you all my Top Ten picks for Halloween reading and today I’m talking about ten characters I’d love to dress up as. Some of these characters I have already impersonated before, as the pictures will show, but I love them so much I wouldn’t mind wearing those costumes again!

Top Ten Characters I’d Like To Be For Halloween

lolaLola from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins- Anybody who’s read this book knows how awesome it would be to dress up as Lola. I mean, she dressed up as Marie Antoinette for a school dance! Lola never wears the same outfit twice and each one is her own special creation that reflects her mood for that day. The thing I’d love most about dressing up as Lola would be wearing a really cool wig!

ginnyGinny Weasley from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Ginny is my favorite HP character (welllll…that’s kind of a lie, because Sirius is also my favorite, but Ginny is the HP character who I’d most want to be). After years and years of wanting a reason to dress up as Ginny, my friends and I finally agreed on dressing up for the midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. It was a super simple costume, but I totally felt like Ginny all night :) I even had my wand from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to make my costume complete. My two best friends dressed up as Luna Lovegood and Dobby! It was so much fun.

TangledRapunzel from Tangled – I’ve mentioned this before, but one of my biggest dreams is for my husband and I to cosplay Flynn Rider & Rapunzel. We both already feel so much like these characters, and Tangled is one of our favorite movies of all time…all that’s missing is for us to actually be Flynn & Rapunzel! Sure we could go buy costumes but we want to do it BIG. One day we’ll throw an epic Disney costume party (or we’ll go to Comic Con) and I will finally get to be Rapunzel :) (Side note: we did have a Disney costume party this summer, which I will be blogging about soon, and we got to dress up as two of our other favorite Disney/bookish characters which was so much fun!!)

robinhoodRobin Hood – Another of my favorite characters whom I’ve already dressed up as, but I’d do it again because it was a blast, was Robin Hood! This photo is back from 2008, when I went to a British Invasion party. The costume I used in this photo was actually from a Peter Pan costume…they are very similar if you think about it. The rest of the costume was simple, and my favorite part was the bow & arrow (although I did love wearing those green tights with my suede boots)! My brother and I would take turn hitting each other with the suction-cupped arrows for months after Halloween.

poeEdgar Allan Poe – My brother actually suggested this costume idea, and I agreed that it would be really fun! It’s fitting, too, since I live an hour from Baltimore, the city where he died & which named its NFL team in his honor. If I dressed up as Poe, I would go around quoting some of his creepier lines and see how long it would take for people to figure out who I was. I think Michael Sheen makes an excellent Poe impersonator in this photo :)

catinthehatThings 1 & 2 from Dr. Suess’s The Cat in the Hat – Ok, one more costume that I’ve already done. I’m repeating myself a lot, but being Things 1 & 2 is so much fun. My two best friends and I did The Cat in the Hat one year and to stay in character we just went around terrorizing everybody. 15 minutes into the party and we were ready for bed. Next time I’ll jump around less ;)

DIVERGENTTris from Divergent by Veronica Roth – I think the coolest thing about the Divergent world is the factions. I knew right away that if I was in Tris’s world, I would also be a Divergent, and I would have also most likely picked Dauntless. I love the characters’ boldness, and their outfits, and their tattoos! My husband also loves them–he thinks Four’s tattoos are awesome as well. This would be a really simple last-minute costume to do: black shirt, black pants, black shoes, and a cool bird tattoo.

willywonkaWilly Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl – Willy Wonka is a total nut job, but it sure would be fun to dress up like him for Halloween. Either Johnny Depp or Gene Wilder’s version would be cool, as long as I get to wear a velvet suit jacket and carry around a cane. And you can bet that I’d bring a big bag of Wonka candy to give to all of my friends.

musketeersD’Artagnan from The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas – I think this would be an awesome group costume idea. Cool hats, mustaches, and swords! Plus, I really like wearing tights. D’Artagnan has always been my favorite, but I wouldn’t mind being any of the Musketeers.

poisonivyPoison Ivy from the Batman comics – Sometimes villains make the best costumes, don’t they? I have always loved Uma Thurman’s portrayal of Poison Ivy, probably because of her outfits, honestly. Clearly, I have a thing for tights, but I also love dressing up as redheaded characters. If I ever go to a Superheroes vs. Villains party, I will most likely go as Poison Ivy :)

There are ten characters I’d love to dress up as for Halloween! Did you like any of my choices? Which character would you choose?

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Places I Want To Visit

toptentuesday

One of my favorite types of books to read are the ones where the setting becomes a character in the story. I just love flipping through a book that makes me want to walk through the setting and experience it all first-hand. Sometimes I end up not really caring for the book that much, but the setting can be presented in such a way that I don’t even care; just let me visit!

Top Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit:

London – Honestly, who hasn’t wanted to visit London because of a book they read or a movie they saw? London is the setting for so many stories over so many different time periods, the city itself has become timeless. I believe you can make London the setting for nearly any genre (except for maybe Westerns) and it would work. The book that made me want to visit London so badly was Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill. She does a fantastic job making London an actual character that I could practically imagine myself walking around a city I’ve never visited. Can’t wait to actually go there one day!!

Bath

Bath – I’m just going to cut right to it. Jane Austen makes me want to visit Bath. Even though Jane hated living in Bath, her final two novels, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, are set there. I would love to visit this city and tour each of the areas Austen mentions in her novel. And then I would pretend to be Anne Elliot chasing down Captain Wentworth in front of The Royal Crescent ;)

New York City – I feel the same way about NYC that I do about London: it’s timeless. I love reading stories and watching movies that take place in the City. The one that’s popping up in my head at the moment is the movie You’ve Got Mail. We get to see all the seasons, but I love what Meg Ryan says: “Don’t you love New York in the fall?”

neverland

Neverland – I don’t know what I love most about Peter Pan’s Neverland: the waterfalls, the mermaid lagoon, the Lost Boys’s tree house… I would be totally content living there forever. Each time I visit Disneyworld/Disneyland I just want to ride Peter Pan’s Flight all day.

North Carolina – This is the current place Matt and I are looking to relocate to. Even though I visited multiple times when I was younger, the reason I want to live there now is because last Christmas I read at least 3 or 4 Nicholas Sparks novels. But hey! That state is gorgeous, whether you like Sparks novels or not (I happen to like them).

montana

The 1800s American West- Along with Nicholas Sparks novels I also have a soft spot for Historical Fiction novels that take place in the American West. I love everything about them & the west. When I was a sophomore in high school I visited Colorado for two weeks and fell in love. I’m trying to convince my husband to look for jobs there, but at least he’s on board with North Carolina ^

Omaha – Ok, I’ve never visited Omaha, or any other place in the Midwest, and I don’t really know what would be attractive about Nebraska, but the reason I want to visit is because of every single Rainbow Rowell novel. The way she talks about her city makes me want to go there and visit all of the places her characters have visited.

sherwood

Sherwood Forest & Nottingham – I have a huge literary crush on Robin Hood. Everyone who knows me in real life knows this. I want to marry Robin Hood, but even more than that I want to be him. Can’t you just see me walking down this pathway with Little John, singing “Oo-de-lally, oo-de-lally, golly what a day!”?

Washington State – Okay, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit the reason why I’d like to visit Washington…it’s because of Twilight. I’m not a fan of the books, even though I went through that period freshman year of college, but I really did like the setting of the series. I wouldn’t necessarily want to live in a place where it rains nearly every day, but I would like to visit Washington and maybe go camping there.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island – This should come as no surprise to any of you who regularly read my blog. Anne Shirley’s beloved Prince Edward Island is the place I want to visit more than any other in the whole world. Every time I read or watching Anne of Green Gables I immediately imagine myself walking along next to Anne as she braves the Haunted Wood or strolls down Lover’s Lane and especially when her and Diana visit Miss Lavendar! *sigh* I’m hoping to finally visit next year. Each summer in Charlottetown they host “Anne of Green Gables–The Musical”, and I WANT TO SEE IT SO BADLY!!! Until then I’ll just keep the soundtrack on my playlist ;)

What are some places–fictional or real–that you have wanted to visit because of a specific book you read? Would you like to visit any of the places on my list?